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#WritingWednesday: Write First, Edit Later.

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  • Tip Bones

One of the biggest mistakes any writer can make—novice or seasoned—is editing as you go. The point of a first draft being is to be messy. Your first draft should be chaotic, make no sense, be riddled with mistakes, because the hardest part of writing is getting the complex thoughts in your head into a cohesive and coherent story or piece of content on paper. So no first draft should ever be polished.

If you find yourself writing a few sentences, a paragraph, even a page and going back to edit it over: stop. Let it be. Let the words you just put to page rest in your mind and ruminate as you move on with the piece of work. It’s hard to see the faults of your work when you’ve just written it. Just like a former tip I’ve shared:  when you've hit a wall, walk away from your work and come back with a fresh pair of eyes. The same applies to editing.

Writing isn’t a race (unless you’re on a strict deadline from a publisher or client, but that’s when you need to give yourself ample time to write and really buckle down). You should be able to write at your own pace and just let the words flow without stifling yourself by over thinking what’s already on the page. There will be time for overthinking. And often what you write next can give you the answers to how to improve the things you wrote before, because you’ll have more clarity about the direction you’re going with your work.

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